With our daily activities requiring us to put a lot of items into our backpacks which in turn makes our packs become heavier, we need to learn some ways on how to carry a heavy backpack. You can consider this post a part two on the proper way to wear a backpack but this post would duel on heavy backpacks and how to carry them.
We are no longer ignorant of the effects carrying a heavy backpack can have on our health. A heavy pack should be avoided at all cost and if possible after you finish packing your bag and it is heavy you should offload it and force yourself to reduce the load in the pack by at least 30%.
Prevention is always better than cure and although the tips that would be provided in this post can help you know how to carry a heavy backpack, it is imperative that you always try to reduce the load you carry on your back.
There are a lot of young people and even some adults with the straps of their backpacks so loose that it ends up hanging way below their waist. Now for whatever reason this is done I do not know because I won’t even consider that fashion.
If you have ever carried a light pack and a heavy pack then I am pretty sure you know how different they both feel. To make your bag sit more than an inch below your waist defeats the purpose of a backpack.
Why Avoid Carrying a Heavy Backpack
Apart from the obvious reason of a heavy pack been dangerous to your health, I would give some reasons that are not as obvious but are just as important.
Limits your movement
Ever gone hiking with a really heavy backpack and you were let’s say probably about to make a jump? I am pretty sure you noticed how difficult that jump was and that’s if you were even able to make the jump. Well, guess what, I am pretty sure that one of the reasons you were not able to make that jump was because of your heavy backpack.
Maybe you should do a test run and try putting the pack down to see if you would feel more confident that you would be able to make that jump. I am pretty sure you would feel more confident than when you had the heavy backpack on.
This is just a typical example for those that hike and I am pretty sure that there are more experiences we go through on our day to day activities in which our movements are limited because of our heavy packs.
Been Mobile and Nimble
For those of us that are always on the go with a backpack, we would appreciate how it feels making use of a lighter pack than we do a backpack that is heavy. Even for those of us in school, the joy of not making use of a heavy backpack cannot be overstated. You literally get to take some loads off your shoulders by making use of a backpack that is not loaded to the top with books.
Can Make Your Day Miserable
Let’s not forget about been miserable because of a heavy backpack. That heavy backpack you haul around town might just be making you feel miserable which might just be making you have a crappy day.
Some of these can be avoided or at the very least reduced if you just make your pack lighter.
How To Carry a Heavy Backpack
Are all the items in your bag considered a necessity? Then you need to be enlightened on how you can carry that heavy backpack.
The golden rule
The golden rule for body weight is to carry at most 15percent of your body weight. Whether you are a kid or an adult this rule should apply to you. You can pretty much do the maths to know how much weight you should carry. Let’s say you weigh about 120 pounds. To know the amount of weight you should carry you take 15percent of 120 pounds which is 30 pounds. Its pretty straightforward and anybody can do this.
Make sure heavier items are placed at the bottom
Whatever you are carrying that involves anything that is heavy you should make sure that you put those that are heavy at the bottom of the pack. If you are to place heavier items at the bottom of your backpack the weight would shift to your back instead of your shoulders and neck. This can result in a much lower change in posture than otherwise.
Take short breaks
This is very important and can make you less stressed when you carry a heavy pack. You should take breaks that can help you regain some of your energy to be able to properly carry your heavy pack and also to catch some breadth. Your pack doesn’t need to be on your back 24/7. If you can, you can always hold it for some few minutes to help reduce the time it spends on your back.
Use both straps
In the proper way to wear a backpack, the importance of wearing both straps of a backpack was stated. This can help distribute the weight of your heavy backpack evenly across both of your shoulders. This, in turn, can make your pack easier and more comfortable to carry.
If your pack is made up of only one strap, you should make sure you periodically swap sides in order to avoid putting all the burden on just one side of your shoulders.
Keep your pack close to your body
If your backpack is not always close to your body it can put a strain on the muscles of your back. Always make sure the straps of your pack is not loose as this can make your bag swing while you walk causing more strain on the muscles of your back.
Properly arrange your items
By arranging your items the right way you can even out the load you carry and this can help to distribute the weight evenly which can help reduce the effect of carrying the heavy pack.
Make use of load lifters
Some backpacks make use of load adjustment lifters. This can be used to bring the upper part of the backpack closer to your back which can help your pack from flopping around on your back and also helps to make the load balanced which in turn lifts the bag off your shoulders better securing it to your back.
Make sure it forms an angle approximately 45 degrees with the back panel of the backpack and also with the horizontal plane that is tangent to the top of your shoulders. Make sure they are not over tightened as that can make you feel uncomfortable.
Trust me when I tell you that you don’t really need as much as you think you do. You should try to force yourself to make sure you pack less. Whenever you pack and you feel it is too heavy, you should empty the bag and reduce your items making sure items that would not be useful are removed not forgetting that some items can serve multiple purposes.
You really don’t have to turn your backpack into a bottomless pit. Remember Mary Poppins and her magic carpet bag that contained almost everything. I don’t think your backpack should be that way because trust me when I tell you that Mary Poppins had it easy because it was a magic bag.
The bags we own are not magic bags and putting lots of items into it can make the bag become heavy real fast.
Go for the alternative
It is not a rule that when you are carrying a lot of items to always make use of a backpack. You can always go the other way by making use of a rolling bag. If you live in areas that a rolling bag can be easily used, you should not hesitate and should make use of rolling backs. It might look old school but it is saving you from putting a lot of burden on your back.
The best way to carry your backpack is to make it light but if you should carry a heavy backpack it should not be done on a regular basis. The tips provided above would help you to be able to carry your heavy backpack so you would not need a trip to the chiropractic doctor.
If you know you cannot avoid carrying heavy loads, you should try to strengthen your core and your back muscles in order to be able to carry that load. No age group is spared from the dangers of carrying a heavy backpack which is why we all have to learn how to carry a heavy backpack.
I hope you learned something from this post that you can make use of and if you have any questions relating to how to carry a heavy backpack or you have your own personal experience(s), please live a comment below.